A Day at the Forbes Library Children’s Department

Back and Better Than Ever: Children’s Department at the Forbes Library

The Forbes Library new Children's Room reopens after a brief closure to install new carpet, a new circulation desk, new furniture and new technology! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Make no mistake that spring is coming, but until it stays over 55 for four days in a row, my body will continue to believe it is winter. We all have our winter routines. Just recently one of ours was disrupted by the temporary closure of the Forbes Library Children’s Room in Northampton, MA.

The library is one of our regular haunts. In winter we crave routine destinations that are close to home. We want the coziness of home without having to look at the same four walls. For this we walk over to the Forbes Library, where they have been raising funds to refurbished their children’s library for as long as we have lived here. This past weekend we made our first pilgrimage over since they layered on the fresh paint.

When we arrived, the kids made a dive for the toddler toys they miss at home, while I look for books. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

When we arrived, the kids made a dive for the toddler toys they miss at home, while I look for books. Then they skipped over to the drop-in art table while I looked for more books. Henry will color for hours and Theo loves the puzzles and blocks. My oldest son, Isaac, disappeared into the youth lounge, with its new comfortable chairs and an entire wall of magnetic poetry. We will reel him out when it is time to leave. — The kids color and then take a trip to see the fish. They make conversation, as is their way, wherever we go. I ask for early reader help from one of the librarians – this mother’s quest to keep her boys reading is going well so far. Our stack of books piles high and lands heavily in our blue flowered library bag.

The kids color and then take a trip to see the fish. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

As we pack it up for today, Isaac checks the events calendar for things involving Lego’s, chess games, a book group for kids his age. As we exit the library, the air outside is cool, but the sun is bright. It is the in-between time. My boys will play in the mud this afternoon but as the sun sets, it will be hot baths and settling in with books in their pajamas while my husband and I toss dinner together. Routines are pleasant. They give us room to adventure and room to relax.

Thanks to our library, we are reading Flat Stanley, Ginger Pye and Harry Potter. What are you reading at your house these days?


Karen Bayne

Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

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